Bounty Hunters #12 Review

by Ellie J. on May 22, 2021

Authur: Ethan Sacks
Artist: Paolo Villenelli
Colorist: Arif Prianto
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment

The War of the Bounty Hunters begins! The Bounty Hunters series has clearly been building up to this, and now it's finally here. All the pieces were put into place by the previous few issues, and this issue things finally kick into high gear. Not that they weren't already, but now that it's clear what the series has been building to, things feel even more high-stakes. Valance is in an unlikely partnership with Dengar, 4-LOM and Zuckuss are following close behind, and T'onga and Losha are on their own journey of revenge. 

This issue is a prelude to the wider War of the Bounty Hunters crossover, but it primarily sticks to these few subplots. But not only does it finish setting up all these characters for the War, it answers a question we've had for years: why do Valance and Han hate each other? Every time they've crossed paths in the "present", they've butted heads, implying that something went wrong between them. But we didn't know just what happened... until now. And the way this issue answers that question just improves on something I wasn't quite sure on with previous issues.

The previous issues have been showing us a lot of flashbacks. It wasn't very clear why, but it kept showing up Valance's past, from his days in the Imperial Academy with Han to first days as a bounty hunter. In a previous review I said that I liked how it was showing us the ups and downs of Valance's past relationship with Han, but was unclear on why. This is why. The series has been building up to the War of the Bounty Hunters, the event where suddenly a carbon-frozen Han is lost and up for grabs by every bounty hunter in the Galaxy, and Valance has one of the most unique connections to Han out of all those bounty hunters.

The flashback this issue shows how Valance saved Han's life shortly before the events of A New Hope, when all of Jabba's mercenaries were out for Han's head after he dropped Jabba's cargo. Valance didn't know the identity of his target, but after seeing that it was his old friend, he helped save him. But from Han's perspective, Valance was trying to shoot him, and Han felt incredibly betrayed by someone whose life he'd saved a decade earlier. It's kinda heartbreaking, and I love it. Valance isn't a bad guy, he's just been pushed around so much he seems like one to everyone who cared about him.

This might be the best issue of the series yet, just because of how well it ties every previous one together and makes it all make sense. I'm so much more excited to see where things go now, especially because of how the next several issues are about the War. Check this issue out, you won't regret it!

Our Score:

9/10

A Look Inside